The September issue of "Christophorus," a magazine for Porsche enthusiasts, is causing a kerfuffle among some California physicians and hospital leaders who e-mailed it to each other in a rage this week.
That's because the publication contains a 9-page glamour spread showing 10 blue-scrubbed physicians on staff at San Diego's 306-bed Alvarado Hospital, all touting their expensive Porches, which sit glistening beside them in the hospital parking lot.
"Calling 911 has a special meaning at Alvarado," the article begins. "Driving a historic 911 Targa through Southern California is the favorite pastime of Hugh Laurie, the British actor playing TV doctor Gregory House. But this passion for Porsche is easily topped by the top doctors of Alvarado Hospital in San Diego. You just have to check out the parking lot. And you can count for yourself. One, two, three..."
Don't these doctors know about the sustainable growth rate formula (SGR), and the Medicare pay cut's one-two punch scheduled for a 23% drop on Dec. 1 and 1.9% on Jan. 1? (On Nov. 2, CMS revised its estimate from 30%.) Physicians across the U.S. are desperately seeking to repeal it, even as some of them contemplate dropping Medicare patients. This kind of an article, coming now, is unseemly.